Eric Phillips leaves Mark Trammell Quartet

Eric Phillips

The Mark Trammell Quartet has just announced that tenor Eric Phillips is leaving the group. He will remain with the group through February 10th, before resuming his career in law enforcement.

In the press release, Mark Trammell commented: “Eric Phillips is one of the finest tenor singers in our industry today and he will be sorely missed. We wish nothing but the best for Eric, Lauren, Carli, and Blake. Our love and prayers go with them.”

The press release adds: “With this unexpected change the quartet will now begin the process of finding the right man to fill the tenor position. For those who are interested please send a demo CD of no more than 2 songs, a photo, and a brief resumé to: Mark Trammell Quartet, PO Box 588, Gadsden, AL 35907. Auditions will begin as early as next week.”


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40 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. Sigh…been a rough day on the SG front. Praying for the Lord’s will and His blessings in this situation for all parties.

  2. Wow! THAT was quick!

    • He came back in December 2011.

      Life on the road is tough these days. Just about anyone on the road will tell you that.

      • I agree there, Daniel. I know I wouldn’t want to live the road life. I’m glad (for his sake) that he had a career to fall back on.

      • Yes. Since he has two young children, I’m sorry to see him go, but I can’t blame him at all.

  3. Quality Tenors are hard to find. Speaking of great tenors I emceed a concert this past weekend here in Alabama, and Dallas Rogers has a group called Restored,which sang on the program. Let me just say Dallas has got to be one of the Top 5 tenor singers in our industry today.

    • I hardly would list Dallas rogers as one of the top 5 tenors in our industry today…maybe in the top 10 or 15….not hardly the top 5…

  4. So, to recap…

    That’s the Inspirations, Gold City and now the MTQ looking for tenors.

    Meanwhile, the Anchormen and the Blackwood Quartet are looking for basses.

  5. Unbelievable, one of the best in the business.

  6. Harold Reed might be a good fit.

    • Perfect! I was also thinking of Frank Seaman…


    • I was thinking the very same thing, Harold just left LeFevre group but I don’t know where he went. He is very good, but Eric has a large pair of tenor shoes to fill! I was so thrilled when Eric returned a year ago. I know being on the road and away from the family has to be the most difficult thing in the world for a young family. I will miss Eric sorely, I am one of his most ardent fans, and was his Dad’s fan most of my life, so I am really attached, as well as thinking Eric has one of the finest voices today in the tenor field. I wish him well and pray for him and family.

      • I too was so happy when Eric returned to MTQ. He has an awesome voice and is so genuine in his delivery…. I could listen to him sing for hours and hours. However, I am thrilled Eric will be able to be at home with his family. We love you Eric and wish the best for you!

  7. Looks like they are going to have to resurrect the song…”Looking for a Tenor”!

  8. Definitely a day of surprise posts! By the way, I recognize the church in the picture!

  9. Holy cow! And another one. I agree with prev. post road life is hard, not so steady schedules and all the other things that go along with it. Nothing beats a solid schedule of work and being home to see the family on a very regular basis. He is a great one. Now the hunt is one. I think Harold would be a great addition. He could sing in the MTT range all day long.

  10. Mike Lefevre deserves to have a lineup last at least a full year! That would be demoralizing to hire someone and just a few months later see them leave (or a few days later – think Paul with EHSS). Not criticizing the singers, just hoping Harold sticks around for Mike.

    I liked the way Mark brought in new blood last time. Gold City probably does not have that option given the pipes required for their sound.

    • Harold has been gone from the Lefervres for at least a few weeks as I understand it.

    • Quartet-Man is right. Harold has been gone for a few weeks, and Mike hired Thomas Nalley from Providence Quartet. Not long after, Randy Byrd left the Anchormen and was hired as the full-time bass singer for the LeFevre Quartet. If you look on DinanaSN’s channel on Youtube, you can find clips of the new lineup.

      I agree that Harold definitely has the vocals for a spot with Mark Trammell. He could probably do Gold City as well, if he so desired. Great talent.

      • News to me. Thanks for the update! Billy Hodges would be a great hire.

      • Harold’s been singing with Mark Blackwood lately….

      • How lately?

      • As of this past week and month…

      • As of this past week and month….

  11. I’d like to see Billy Hodges hook up with another quartet.

  12. Sure hate to see Eric leave again, but I completely understand where he is. Road life is not easy. The easiest part of the road life is the singing! Sure, I’d love to be back out there again; in a heartbeat I’d be there, but before Frank Stamps or James Vaughn ever put the first quartet on the road to sell songbooks, God instituted the family. And therefore I had to make that decision. While I miss the traveling, I know I’m where I’m supposed to be. May God continue to bless Eric and his family and I pray that Eric will be an amazing witness for Christ within the law enforcement community.

  13. Harold Reed was with the Blackwood Quartet as recently as Jan 17. I saw them at an Elvis tribute concert where they played the role of the Jordonaires and the Stamps as Elvis’ back-up singers. As the Elvis impersonator got ready to sing “It’s Now or Never”, which as you may know shares a melody with the Italian aria “O Sole Mio,” Harold sang the Italian words first and about brought the house down. He would make an excellent addition to MTQ or any of the others, but does tend to move around a lot.

  14. Here is a clip of Harold w/ the Blackwood Quartet

    • Harold Reed is only filling in with the Blackwood Quartet. I am Facebook friends with him, and he has made it clear on Facebook that he is still without a singing job and is considering taking a non-singing job as we speak.

    • BTW, who was that singing bass in that clip?

  15. Well put Tracy C! Love ya Buddy!

  16. Am I the only one who wishes Jay Parrack would be the one to fill the position? There’s a video on YouTube from MTQ Homecoming of him singing Glory Road with them… He did a fantastic job!!

  17. I would love it if Jay Parrack came in as replacement for Eric, but I don’t think that is too likely to happen. Jay is an excellent, strong tenor, best range and can hit those very high notes with ease. He is a “natural” as they say! However, I think he left off traveling for the same reasons Eric, these young families just cannot survive with the dad gone on the road 200 days a year. The family has to come first.

  18. It’s no secret that tenors are hard to find, especially good tenors. I’m sad to see Eric leave, but I totally understand the need and desire to be at home with your family. To be out on the road today full-time and have any kind of success/staying power, you have to REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY love it. For 80% of those doing it full-time or better, they could probably make more money (in some cases, a lot more money) doing something else and be at home with their families more. I think it’s why so many of the traveling artists are made up of younger guys and ladies. The miles, the low pay, the occasional drama, the hard work, the time away from home – it’s hard to justify that – UNLESS you are called to it, and your family is called to support you.

    I know we all miss our favorite artists who leave the road and settle into regular life doing other things. But, for example, why would Jay Parrack leave a good church making more money than he was on the road, seeing his family every day, to go back out on the road? While it would be good for us, not necessarily good for him.

    For those that really love it, those that really feel like this is what they are supposed to do, for those whose family is totally behind the sacrifices, it’s a great life. But today’s economy has made that less and less appealing. I totally get it. Makes me sad everytime I have to say goodbye to someone, but I TOTALLY get it.

    Case in point, Tracy and Libbi Stuffle. Tracy has had a stroke and Libbi is right by his side, right exactly where she needs to be and should be. However, the ministry must be go on – the Stuffles have bills to pay, Joseph and Bryan have bills to pay, people have bought tickets to see them, etc. They keep things rolling as best they can, but, it’s much more complicated than someone with a “regular” job. It affects so many more people. God bless those who make the sacrifices and who do this for the long haul!

  19. who is the bass singer for mark trammells quartet

    • Pat Barker

      • It is rumored that Pat barker is the most handsome man is SG. Perhaps Mr. Barker could confirm this… 🙂

      • The rumors are incorrect. The most handsome man in Southern Gospel is actually his boss, Mark Trammell.

  20. Any word on Who is filling the Tenor spot for the next few weeks?